Re-establishing elk populations along BC coast

Last January I was assigned to shoot a team of wildlife biologists relocating Roosevelt elk 250km up the BC coast via barge in an effort to re-establish the blue-listed species in its traditional habitat. The challenge was that there were few opportunities to actually see the elk. Weeks of work baiting elk into corrals couldn't be compromised by my presence, the trapping and releasing would be over in a flash and occur mostly at night, and during transport the elk were held in a truck and not to be disturbed.

To work within these restrictions, I relied heavily on remotely-triggered cameras and camera traps. Running through the steps of the trap and release with the team beforehand, I was able to attach cameras in and around the truck and corral to be triggered during the action via radio. To capture images of the elk entering the baited corrals, I set up camera traps, which are triggered by movement.

This successful program has re-established elk populations in 21 locations in southwestern BC. It was great to share a few days with this dedicated team of biologists.

*composite image to include each elk released